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Excessive Heat Watch Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Posted at 12:35 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued three separate Excessive Heat Watches for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. All three begin in the morning each day and expire in the evening.

An Excessive Heat Watch means that a prolonged period of dangerously high temperatures is possible. You should prepare for extreme temperatures and high humidity, which would create a situation in which heat illnesses are expected.

Heat index values could potentially rise to 110 to 115 degrees each day with temperatures in the middle 90s to around 100 degrees and dewpoints in the lower to middle 70s.

Heat Safety Tips

  • Never leave a child or pet alone in a car.
  • Find places with air conditioning. Libraries, shopping malls and community centers can provide a cool place to take a break from the heat. (See Fairfax County’s cooling center information below.)
  • If you’re outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. If you or someone you care for is on a special diet, ask a doctor how best to accommodate it.
  • Do not use electric fans when the temperature outside is more than 95 degrees, as this could increase the risk of heat-related illness. Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature.
  • Avoid high-energy activities.
  • Check yourself, family members, and neighbors for signs of heat-related illness.

Fairfax County Cooling Centers

With these high temperature and heat index, there is an increased risk of heat-related illness for those without air-conditioning or those outdoors for an extended period. During extremely hot days, there is plenty that you can do to stay cool, like go to a movie, stroll through a shopping center or visit one of Fairfax County’s Cooling Centers:

Please check the operating hours to ensure the facility is open before arriving. Remember — resting for just two hours in air conditioning can significantly reduce heat-related illnesses.

Shelter Open for Those Affected by Bailey’s Crossroads Fire

Update 10:40 a.m., April 2

Residents can call property management 24/7 at 703-379-4843 for updates.

Update 10:42 p.m.

Residents can text BAILEYSFIRE to 888777 for text message updates.

Posted 9 p.m.

The James Lee Community Center, 2855 Annandale Road, Falls Church, is now open as a shelter for those who have been displaced by the transformer fire in Bailey’s Crossroads earlier today. Approximately 1,000 residents have been displaced.

Bailey's Fire Truck

Items to bring to the shelter include:

  • A three-day supply of special items, especially for older adults, people with disabilities or infant members of your household.
  • Special diet food, especially if you have food restrictions/allergies.
  • Change of clothing.
  • Pillows, if needed.
  • Blankets and cots will be provided.

For the latest information:

Bailey's Red Cross

Fairfax County Open on Friday, Feb. 1; Unscheduled Leave for Employees

Government, Schools and Courts

  • Fairfax County Government offices will be open on Friday, Feb. 1, however employees have been granted unscheduled leave. Emergency service personnel should report as scheduled.
  • Fairfax County Public Schools will be closed on Friday, Feb. 1. School Age Child Care (SACC) centers will be closed.

Parks, Community and Recreation and Community Centers

Transportation: Connector, Fastran

Public Assistance Lobbies/SkillSource

The Department of Family Services employment/SkillSource centers and public assistance lobbies may be affected by inclement weather.  Call 703-324-7500, TTY 711, for the current operating status.

Libraries

  • Library hours may be affected; call your local branch before visiting. For branch phone numbers, call 703-324-3100 or go to www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library.

View the public meetings calendar at for any potential cancellations of public meetings of Fairfax County government Boards, Authorities or Commissions.

Cox Customers May Have Trouble Calling 9-1-1

UPDATE (6:15 p.m.): Service has been fully restored for all Cox customers. 

If you have Cox phone service you may experience trouble contacting 9-1-1.  All Fairfax County 9-1-1 functions are in service.

Please use a wireless phone to reach 9-1-1 if you experience trouble.  Text-to-9-1-1 is also available.

The cause of the issue is a Cox Communications service interruption near the area of Georgetown Pike and Bellview Road. There is not an estimated time of repair at this time.

4 Things To Know About All This Rain

Posted at 10:50 a.m.

We are on our third straight day of heavy rains in the county and it’s not letting up any time soon. Here are four things you should know.

1.) Flash Flood Watch

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Flash Flood Watch in effect from noon today through tomorrow morning, although it may be extended.

A Flood Watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts. You should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible Flood Warnings. Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop.

Flood Watch

According to the NWS, there is a possibility of 1 to 3 inches of rain today and an additional 3 to 5 inches on Tuesday. There is also a chance of thunderstorms, which could bring wind gusts of up to 40 to 50 mph.

Please keep children away from creeks and streams as the water may rise quickly.

2.) Turn Around, Don’t Drown

Flooding is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities in the U.S. On average, flooding claims nearly 90 lives each year. More than half of these deaths occur in motor vehicles when people attempt to drive through flooded roadways. This happens because people underestimate the force and power of water, especially when it is moving.

  • Just 6 inches of fast-moving water can knock over and carry off an adult.
  • 12 inches of water can float a small car. If that water is moving, it can carry that car away.
  • 18 to 24 inches of flowing water can carry away most vehicles, including large SUVs.

It is impossible to tell the exact depth of water covering a roadway or the condition of the road below the water. This is especially true at night when your vision is more limited. It is never safe to drive or walk through flood waters.

Our Fire and Rescue Department has already been responding to calls about stranded motorists.

Any time you come to a flooded road, walkway, or path, follow this simple rule: Turn Around Don’t Drown.

3.) Watch for Downed Trees

The combination of wet soil and potentially heavy wind gusts could cause trees to uproot and fall over. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

If a Tree Hits Your Home

  1. Get everyone safely out of your house. Use your cellphone or go to a neighbor and call 9-1-1.
  2. Go to a nearby shelter (another home or open public facility) to stay dry and out of the elements.
  3. Stay away from the home until public safety employees can access the home for structural stability and ensure utilities are controlled.
  4. Only after all of these safety measures have taken place should you call your insurance company.

For downed trees:

  • Adjacent to Public Roads: Contact Virginia Department of Transportation at 1-800-FOR-ROAD, TTY 711.
  • On County Parkland: Contact Fairfax County Park Authority at 703-324-8594, TTY 703-324-3988.
  • Posing Hazard to Public Areas: Contact Fairfax County Urban Forestry at 703-324-1770, TTY 703-324-1877.
  • On Private Property: Removal is the property owner’s responsibility.

A comprehensive list of who to contact is available online.

4.) Prepare for Power Outages

As the storm continues, you may well find yourself without power. Be prepared and know what to do before your power goes out.

Plan Ahead

  • Keep your digital devices charged!
  • Back up critical files on your computer.
  • Unplug electrical equipment. Spikes and surges could occur as power is restored, damaging equipment.
  • Make sure that your emergency supply kit can be found easily if the lights go out.
  • If you use well water, pre-plan by filling a bathtub with water for use with sanitation, etc.

If Your Power Goes Out

  • Report your outage! Never assume a neighbor has reported it.
    • Dominion Virginia Power: 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357), TTY 711; view outage map
    • Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC): 1-888-335-0500 or 703-335-0500, TTY 711; view outage reports
  • Use a flashlight or battery-powered lantern for emergency lighting. Never use candles.
  • Unplug electrical equipment until a steady power supply returns.
  • If you have a police, fire or medical emergency, call or text 9-1-1. For non-emergency needs, call 703-691-2131.